INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 18, 2018) – After leading the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic almost from the beginning, Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., finished his business at Woodland Bowl Sunday with a 244-154 victory over Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., to claim his third PBA Tour title.
Butturff, a 23-year-old left-hander, cruised to the $30,000 first prize behind an opening string of three strikes and another string of four late in the game after Kent ran into big trouble early in the game when he left three splits and failed to convert any of them.
It was an especially rewarding win for Butturff after leading the 2017 U.S. Open by a stunning 617 pins, only to lose the title to Rhino Page in the title match.
“This title means the world to me,” Butturff said. “The thought of the U.S. Open was in my mind before practice, but I told myself I was not going to get my nerves get to me this time. When Marshall struggled early in the match, I just put my foot to the metal.
“Redemption was on my mind, but I just wanted to make a better showing than I did in the U.S. Open.”
Kent advanced to the championship match with a 218-210 win over two-handed lefty Keven Williams of Springfield, Mo., who had never finished higher than 34th place in his limited three-year PBA career. Kent jumped into an early lead with four strikes, but left the 2-8-10 split and a five-count “washout,” failing to convert either one to let Williams back into the match. After a strike nine-count in the 10th to give Williams a chance, the 25-year-old two-hander struck on his first shot in the 10th, but then left a 3 pin on his second shot to end his upset bid.
Japan’s Shota Kawazoe, in his debut on American television, rallied to defeat Indianapolis’ Matt Sanders in the opening match, 183-160. After starting with back-to-back splits and open frames, Kawazoe struck on four of his next five shots while Sanders, the 24-year-old 2017 PBA Rookie of the Year, was unable to strike until the seventh frame. A pair of splits and opens in the final two frames sealed his fate.
In the second match, Williams started his television debut with four strikes, but Kawazoe again came from behind, throwing four strikes in a row to take the lead into the 10th frame. Needing to convert the 10 pin in the 10th frame, the 16-time Japan PBA champion missed, handing Williams a 229-225 win and a berth in the semifinal match.
The Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic was the third event of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season and was part celebratory week that included the PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration dinner and hall of fame induction ceremonies Saturday. The PBA now heads to Columbus, Ohio, where Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl will host the season’s second major championship, the Barbasol PBA Players Championship, and the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship.
All preliminary rounds of the Players Championship and Roth-Holman Doubles Tuesday through Friday will be live streamed on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. To sign up, visit xtraframe.tv. The Players Championship finals will air live on ESPN next Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The Roth-Holman Doubles finals will be live streamed on ESPN3 at 5 p.m. and taped for delayed broadcast on ESPN on Sunday, March 25, at 2 p.m. All times are Eastern.
GO BOWLING! PBA 60TH ANNIVERSARY CLASSIC
Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, Feb. 18
1, Jakob Butturff, Tempe, Ariz., $30,000.
2, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., $15,000.
3, Keven Williams, Springfield, Mo., $13,000.
4, Shota Kawazoe, Japan, $11,000.
5, Matt Sanders, Indianapolis, $10,000.
Match One – Kawazoe def. Sanders, 183-160.
Match Two – Williams def. Kawazoe, 229-225.
Semifinal Match – Kent def. Williams, 218-210.
Championship – Butturff def. Kent, 244-154.